In: Whiggish International Law
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This project began with an email to Nick Onuf. I had read a draft of his manuscript titled Mightie Frame: Epochal Change and the Modern World (2018), where he touched on historiography and discussed the post-Renaissance refreshment of history as veracity or storytelling. He got me thinking about the relevance of Herbert Butterfield’s Whig Interpretation of History (1931). I thought it might be due for refreshment in the study of the international law and relations of the Americas. Nick noted Butterfield’s work had become background knowledge in political theory, with periodic attempts by Skinnerians to foreground it. I thought it might be worthwhile to foreground it in the field of international law, and then I thought that Elihu Root unwittingly might have already done so. I thank Nick for stimulating my interest in the subject and for comments on an early draft, where I began to build my own frame.

I am grateful to Randall Lesaffer for adding this book to the Studies in the History of International Law series and to two anonymous readers for helpful comments. I am also grateful to my editor at Brill, Wendel Scholma, and to Kim Fiona Plas, for ably overseeing the production process.

I am indebted to Adrien Wing, the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor and Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs, and John Reitz, the Edward Carmody Professor and Director of Graduate Programs and Visiting Scholars at the University of Iowa College of Law. They provided generous support for research assistance. I benefitted greatly from able research assistance provided by University of Iowa Law College students. I owe thanks to Antonio Martinez, Thais Fernandes Pereira, Waldemar Rodriquez, Rochelle Vazquez, and Charlotte Perez for their considerable efforts. Charlotte, especially, put her eyes to work in search of omissions and errors. Students in my advanced seminar on international law provided important feedback and criticism, and for their remarks I thank Douglas Hathaway, Bingqing He, Jung Min Kang, Derek LaBrie, Amanda Ndemo, Famatta Passawe, Matthew Roth, and Hyun Song.

From 1985 to 2014, Arthur Bonfield, now the Allan D. Vestal Professor Emeritus and Associate Dean Emeritus for Research at the Iowa Law College, turned a wonderful law library into one of the world’s finest collections. All who enter Iowa’s law library own tremendous thanks to him and the former deans and librarians who created and maintain this collection. Arthur, once again, cordially granted me access to his astounding private holdings of sixteenth and seventeenth century masterpieces of the age of discovery. His personal library is a sight to behold. Arthur’s familiarity with these manuscripts, his proactive and insightful suggestions about which texts to review, and his generous personal attention to queries cannot be repaid. I am truly grateful for his help.

Portions of this work were presented at the Latin American conference on Rethinking and Renewing the Study of International Law, held at the universities de los Andes, del Rosario and the Externado de Colombia, with support from the History Section of the Latin American Society of International Law, Bogotá, September 26–28, 2017; the Latin America and International Law Conference, held at the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law, Universität Hamburg, February 8–9, 2018; the American Society of International Law Midwest Works-in-Progress Conference, Southern Illinois University College of Law, September 7–8, 2018; and the 2019 International Studies Association annual conference in Toronto. For helpful commentary, suggestions, and critique, I thank Ricardo Abello-Galvis, Walter Arevalo-Ramirez, José Manuel Barreto Soler, Edward Blumenthal, Stefano Cattelan, Theo Christov, Petra Gümplová, Andrei Mamolea, Liliana Obregón, Matthias Packeiser, Pedro Pizano, Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral, Juan Pablo Scarfi, Joshua Simon, Frédéric Gilles Sourgens, Andreas Timmerman, and Guillermo Willard.

Marilyn Van Winkle and the curatorial staff at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles provided copyright clearance to reproduce on the book’s cover John Gast’s wonderfully whiggish chromolithographic allegory of American Progress (1872). Portions of Chapter 5 originally appeared or are reworked from “The Gulf of Fonseca and International Law: Condominium or Anti-Colonial Imperialism?” 3(1) Jus Gentium, Journal of International Legal History 115–153 (2018). Portions of Chapter 6 originally appeared in or are reworked from “Treaty of Tordesillas Syndrome: Sovereignty ad Absurdum and the South China Sea Arbitration.” 50(1) Cornell International Law Journal 231–283 (2017).

I also thank and am grateful to Sigrid, Christian, Monica, and my father and brothers for providing company along the way.